You’re probably familiar with SoundHound, the popular music recognition service that’s been available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone for a few years now. But it seems as though the company wants you to recognize its name for something a little different, because today SoundHound debuted a new personal voice assistant that aims to take on Google Now, Siri and Cortana at the same time. The new application is called Hound, and it’s currently available as an invite-only beta app.
Read more: Google Now on Tap demo at Google I/O 2015
Much like Google’s voice assistant that’s baked in to Android, activating SoundHound’s new app can be done by using the phrase “Okay, Hound”. As you can see from the video above, Hound has the ability to listen and respond to casually-phrased sentences, and deliver information in a card-based layout that will help you get your correct answer. Like we’ve seen in other voice assistants, Hound can give you information on the weather, directions, local searches, news, photos, web searches and of course, the power of the SoundHound app built right in.
What makes Hound stand out, though, is its ability to respond to casual phrases and sentences. For example, when you say “What’s the weather like in Napa this weekend?”, Hound will pull up the weather forecast for Napa. When you follow up that question with “Show me Italian restaurants there that are open past 9pm”, Hound will understand that you’re still talking about Napa, and bring up the correct answer for you. This is the type of advanced voice recognition technology that Google unveiled a few years back, and it’s now interesting to see it make its way to yet another application.
To use the new service, you’ll need to head to this website to request an invitation, then follow the Google Play Store link below to download the app.
This news comes just days after Google announced that Android M will bring a new feature called Google Now on Tap. This will allow you to access the power of Google Now from within any application, bringing you relevant information without the need to exit your current app and open another one. Microsoft also just recently announced that it will soon bring its Cortana personal voice assistant to Android.
Do you think this could be a viable replacement for Google Now? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!